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Barnabas

Hi, I recently graduated as a premed Biology major from The Johns Hopkins University (the 11th ranked university, and a leading research university in the U.S.). I'm currently living in Austin Texas, and will be commuting to Houston regularly to visit my family and friends.

I understand that each student's goals will be different. I hope to tailor my tutoring to each students interests, and goals. My teaching philosophy also includes, presenting a subject or concept in different ways to help reinforce the student's understanding. I also give amazing tips/life hacks on how to get the most out of studying and improve memory. Knowing that people love to hear how smart they are, I never fail to let my tutees know, while objectively letting them know ways they need to improve. positive reinforcement / affirmation - it helps people learn better.

In my free time I play sports (basketball, football, any sport with a ball) and instruments (piano, and guitar). I have a respect and an interest in people with different hobbies because I like to learn from them. So do not be deterred if we spend our free time differently.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Johns Hopkins University - Bachelors, Biology

SAT Math: 730

GRE Verbal: 163

GRE Analytical Writing: 5

Piano, Guitar, Basketball, Football, Any sport with a ball, eating, just plain exercising, reading/watching news

What is your teaching philosophy?

The student guides the approach - I ask a lot of questions to figure out where the student is to gauge their strengths and weaknesses and to see how comfortable they are with the subject. Different elaboration techniques - understanding that there are multiple ways to get different types of information to stick in the brain, and that the more ways used, the more secure the memory of the concept is. Study tips/ life hacks - introducing life saving tips that will help students get the most out of studying. Positive reinforcement - everybody loves to hear how great their skills are, and it helps people learn better. I mix this in with objective feedback.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

I would get to know the person's motivation, goals, and hobbies. I might also have them take a short personality test. They should expect a good amount of questions about their educational history, what subjects they are good with, what subjects they have struggled with, and so on.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I hope to help students become independent learners by explaining the benefits and the life-long importance of independent learning. I would also hope to help the student find out ways to motivate him/herself to learn independently in times when he/she does not feel like it by helping them figure out how to motivate themselves. I might reward the student for independent learning if their learning improvement can be verified by positive test results.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

I would elaborate on the things they need to understand prior to learning the concept or skill. I would explain the concept in different ways. I would ask them to read key passages that elaborate on the concept or skill and work it out with them until they understand. I would assign practice problems, and if needed, work with them step by step until it sticks. I would include visual aids.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

I would suggest reading with a search engine nearby to look up big words. I would suggest practicing reading habits with books they enjoy in their reading level until their reading improves. I would encourage a habit of regular reading and explain its benefits for higher education and for post college, motivating them with stories of people who changed their lives and improved their successes by increasing their reading (Dr. Ben Carson, Post-retirement Kobe Bryant).

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Asking questions often to see what's going on in a student's mind and what prior knowledge they have. Tailoring the subject material to be relevant to the student's life and interests. Positive reinforcement and affirmation.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

I would relate the subject to something relevant to their life and interests.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

I would test the student through different methods to ensure they understand it in all possible ways the information will be test. Multiple choice, definition, fill in the blank, recognition, practice problems with different unknowns, and word problems...

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

By letting them know just how good they already are in it, while being objective about what they need to do to improve. Improvement is closer than a lot of people think.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

By asking the student. However, if they are unable to pinpoint their need, I would evaluate how they perform on diagnostic quizzes.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I ask a lot of questions to understand the student's needs, and then I emphasize the teaching on whatever their needs are.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

The Internet and textbooks, if available. Paper and writing material are a given.